The Maryland Jockey Club March 12 will begin broadcasting television advertisements designed to promote horse racing and the importance of racing and breeding to the Maryland economy.The Washington Post reported more than $100,000 was spent on the ads, which come as the state legislature is debating a bill to authorize slot machines at racetracks and other locations. The ads don't mention gaming.MJC officials acknowledged the script is consistent with the message they have been delivering to legislators: the industry is vital to the economy, and deserves public support. "In that case, I guess we are trying to deliver a subliminal message," Tim Capps, MJC executive vice president, told the Post. "We're talking the same language ... It's reaffirming the message we've already been spreading." Capps said the ads are unrelated to a pro-slots campaign planned by allies of Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., whose top campaign fund-raiser has been soliciting money from racing interests to pay for an advertising blitz tied to the governor's proposal to bring 15,500 slot machines to the state.Capps said MJC often runs television ads to promote the start of the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course, which will host the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in May, but he said the commercials are more general in nature.
If Maryland&#8217;s Democratic Gov. Martin O&#8217;Malley gets his way with the notoriously restive Maryland legislature this fall, the state&#8217;s horseracing fans may at long last find slot machines installed at Laurel and Pimlico.